They Could Not See Him
The Pharisees and other leaders closely watched Jesus but they could not see His meaning. They could not see the issues as Jesus saw them, so they set themselves against Him rather than making an alliance with Him. They were so hung up on rules, laws and ceremonies, that they missed the heart of faith: God’s forgiving love that frees one to live as son or daughter of God.
It’s similar to the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. We know him to be among the musical masters of all time. But it was not so for his contemporaries. The parishioners at St. Thomas Church often complained about the strange and innovative music that Bach wrote for the choir and organ each Sunday. They didn’t know what a gifted musician was in their midst. After his death, the music of Bach was seldom performed until Felix Mendelssohn began a revival of appreciation that has lasted into our own time. So the people of Bach’s time watched him, but they didn’t see him.
I would insist that we have a good understanding of Jesus and what He was about but I don't think we have great insight. Christians today must be careful in their confidence. We can know that we are saved but we never know if our behavior is completely acceptable. We watch Jesus, but we do not see Him. We are acquainted with Him, but His rich meaning is not yet part of our lives. Occasionally we confess this when we sing in worship:
Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth You have for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
We watch and pray that we might see.